Cats deny Pies in thriller to book home prelim

GEELONG has shattered its six-year losing streak in the first week of finals, denying Collingwood by six points in a tense, thrilling clash at the MCG.

There were three lead changes in the late stages of the final quarter before a Jack Crisp behind levelled the scores at 72 apiece with two and a half minutes left.

A free-flowing passage down the Shane Warne Stand wing ended in a Max Holmes goal that ultimately decided the match in the Cats’ favour, 11.12 (78) to 10.12 (72).

CATS v MAGPIES Full match coverage and stats

It was the first close game that Collingwood had lost since round seven against Brisbane.

Geelong will play either Melbourne or Brisbane in a preliminary final at the MCG in two weeks’ time. Collingwood now faces a cut-throat semi-final against the winner of the elimination final between Fremantle and the Western Bulldogs.

The Magpies led by 19 points late in the first term after a hot start but the Cats ground their way back into the contest and the margin was just one point at half-time.

A series of spectacular goals late in the third term from Jack Crisp, Ash Johnson and Jeremy Cameron signalled the contest was loosening up but the gap remained just seven points in Collingwood’s favour at the last change.

More to come

GEELONG                    1.3       4.7       7.10     11.12 (78)
COLLINGWOOD          3.5       4.8       8.11     10.12 (72)

Geelong: Cameron 3, Rohan 3, Close 2, Duncan, Hawkins, Holmes
Collingwood: Johnson 2, De Goey 2, Elliott, Hoskin-Elliott, Mihocek, Lipinski, Daicos, Crisp

Geelong: Kolodjashnij (knee) replaced by O’Connor in second quarter
Collingwood: Adams (groin) replaced by Kreuger in fourth quarter, Johnson (thigh)

Crowd: 91,525 at the MCG

Road to the premiership after Geelong’s win over Collingwood

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